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Ninety-Three Paperback – July 27, 2008

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Editorial Reviews


"One of the loftiest achievements of Hugo's genius." --Saturday Review --This text refers to the CD-ROM edition.

About the Author

Victor Hugo (1802-1885) was a novelist, poet and dramatist, most important of French Romantic writers. Among Hugo's best-known works are The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Les Miserables. Hugo invented his own version of the historical novel, combining the local color and historical detail of Honore de Balzac and the spiritual discourse of George Sand.

Hugo died in Paris on May 22, 1885. He was given at his death a national funeral. It was attended by two million people. Victor Hugo is buried in the Pantheon. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 444 pages
  • Publisher: Watchmaker Publishing (July 27, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603861335
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603861335
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,308,854 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Guillermo Maynez on February 6, 2001
Format: Paperback
Hugo was a great novelist with a gift for mixing history with fiction. Just like Dumas, only Dumas is lighter entertainment and less depth. 1793 was a crucial year for the French Revolution, and hence for human History. The Revolutionary regime was unstable, faction-ridden, while the forces of the Ancien Regime were still fighting fiercely (read Balzac's "Les Chouanes" and "A Murky Business" for other great references to alter years of this period). It is also a story of generational fighting, as well as an account of heroism in both sides.
The Marquis of Lantenac is an old aristocrat fighting to restore the Regime, in the La Vendée uprising. He faces his nephew, the Vicomte of Gauvain, who fights for the Revolution. The scenery is the beautiful Bretagne, in Northern France. Hugo rounds up the story magnificently, explaining the reader what is going on in Paris with the different factions and leaders. So the story is not isolated from main historical events. These give it a full context, and in turn the story enlightens us about what the fight is about. The climax comes in the battle of La Tourgue, where uncle and nephew face each other in a dramatic fight. The revolutionaries win, but Lantenac returns to a castle, to rescue three children caught in a fire. He is imprisoned, and here the drama reaches its highest: Gauvain is told to execute his uncle. The ending is a hard confrontation between political reason and personal values, a subject explored in great literature since "Antigona", by Sofocles. It's clear why this eternal confrontation is tragic: no solution is devoid of an extremely high price. A less-known but excellent work by one of the best novelists there has been.
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70 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Aaishik Kar on October 26, 2001
Format: Paperback
I have read four novels of Victor Hugo(and the synopsis of a fifth one)."Ninety Three" is the one in which he has reached perfection.
This specially applies to his plot-structure which is one of the best I've come across.
Hugo's rather naive artrifices and linking devices,which he used for making tight plot structures,but lent an unconvincing coherence in his earlier novels are absent-giving rise to an ingeniously linked sequence of events-where every event,keeping in mind the moral purposes which the novel seeks to achieve and the moral premises and goals of the characters,necessarily leads to the next event,to the climax and the resolution.
The theme,most appropriately pointed out by Ayn Rand is:"Man's loyalty to values."
How every character and every event expresses the theme is the greatest technical virtuosity a writer can achieve.
(However,as I see,Hugo's conscious intention was to dramatize:"The conflict between the logic behind the French Revolution and the philosophy behind the French Revolution.)
The plot-theme is:"The conflict which arises when a ruthless revolutionary(of the French Revolution)-a priest- is sent to keep a watch on a courageous but compassionate revolutionary-the only man he loves in this world- pursuing his granduncle-a proud,haughty,fanatical Royalist-with three innocent children and their helpless mother caught up in the cataclysm of this savage,frantic battle."
The merits of this novel are numerous.First of all,it is one of the best suspense-thrillers among the explicitly philosophical novels of the 19th century.
The neck-breaking speed with which the events suceed one other will keep you biting your nails till the last paragraph.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Daniel J. Geraldi on October 13, 1999
Format: Paperback
Hugo again outdoes himself. His ability to go into details, without losing his reader, compares with Hemingway's. But this is not to say that his focus on the detail is at the expense of the big picture. Just the opposite. Ninety-three gives an overall perspective of the French Revolution that I have never realized (not that I claim to be an expert on the subject). Moreover, the battles between the blues (advocates of the Republic) and the whites (the royalist) are gripping. His characters are awe inspiring and the story as a whole moves very well. This is book is a real treat.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By J. Swagman on May 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is another one of those books that has been on my reading list forever, and I picked it up several times before in the past before finally getting around to finishing it now.

Like a lot of classic books, then isn't a bad read at all, but it's not written in the modern style and therefore requires a bit of discipline to get started before you get hooked by the plot. If you can make it past the first 50 pages, you'll be hooked.

Although to be honest, I think it also helped that I'm a little bit more knowledgeable about the French Revolution than I was a couple years before. This is a book on the French Revolution by a French author, and so gets a little more into the intricacies of the Revolution than say "A Tale of Two Cities". The book starts out in the middle of the civil war out in provinces in 1793, and the reader is more or less just thrown into the action. It can be a little bit confusing.

The action then swings back to Paris, and if you don't know who Robespierre, Danton, or Marat were, then it is going to get even more confusing. You don't have to be a scholar to understand this book (I'm certainly not), but a passing knowledge of the major figures of the French Revolution is certainly helpful.

Victor Hugo published this book in 1874, shortly after the Paris Commune, which is one of the reasons usually given for why this book never became as successful or as well known as some of his other classics; the theory being that after the events of the Paris Commune the French public was in no mood for a book which idealized the turbulent times of the original French Revolution.
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